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Traditional Flower Festival Celebrated in China

It’s Spring. The warm and humid air provides comfort for everything: living or not. Once again, life prospers. Trees start to relive their youth. Plants relieve their gay vitality and begin to thrive again. The restoration of the comforting air bodes another beautiful miracle; the blossoming of flowers. It’s time to celebrate Flower Festival!

Flowers are the life of spring. With their champagne blush of blossoms, sparkle reverberates into the springtime air. Flowers act as dancing rainbows as if life and music intermingle in a single performance. Every bud and bloom is an enchanting miracle; akin to life being born. Every flower seems like a soul blossoming in nature.

Chinese cherry blossom
Chinese cherry blossom

Flowers are the aesthetics of nature. They are the colors that paint nature into a piece of art. That is why it is only natural to commemorate flowers. In China, we celebrate them through a festival:   the 花朝节 (Huāzhāo Jié).

The Chinese Flower festival or 花朝节 (Huāzhāo Jié)refers to the birthday of Chinese flowers. People celebrate this festival on the 12th of February of the Lunar Calendar. People across China participate in this event.

1. The Meaning of the Chinese Flower Festival 花朝节 (Huāzhāo Jié) 

Like the majority of Chinese festivals, Huāzhāo Jié has deep ties to the ancient world. It has been around for many millennia. Legends have it that the celebration started as a festival of worship. They throw this event as a commemoration of the flower king. After all, the flower king is in charge of human fertility. With population scarce during this era, people are in dire need of a workforce. They created this event as means to have more children. The more people there were, the stronger the productivity would be.

However, in modern times, people see changed their perception of Huāzhāo Jié. Now, most people see it as the birthday of flowers. 

2. The Customs During the Chinese Flower Festival 花朝节 (Huāzhāo Jié)

There are many enchanting and engaging activities during the Chinese Flower festival. All of these are equally fun and one-in-a-lifetime experiences. If you ever got the privilege to participate in this celebration, you must go. It is too good of a chance to pass up. 

The center of attraction during the Chinese flower festival is the spring outing. People often go out to have a picnic and parks while enjoying the scenery of flowers. Although there are parks in the city, most people travel to the suburbs for a fully immersive experience. Women also cut multicolor paper and put it on the flowers, known as “red appreciation.”

Another fun activity is experiencing the benediction in the temple of the flower god. Even though the religious connotation of the celebration dwindled over time, people are still keen to preserve their spiritual life. On this day, every family will offer sacrifices to the flower God. They also burn incense and engage in fervent prayer. They deem to offer gratitude and show appreciation for the flower God’s blessing of lush flowers and trees.

The celebration also includes a food culture. People love to make flower cakes during this festival. The custom dates back to the Tang Dynasty. Legend has it that Wu Zetian 武则天 (wǔ zé tiān) loved flowers so much, she always ordered her maids to collect flowers. She then transforms these petals into flower cakes and enjoys a feast. The cakes have an incredibly sweet and fragrant aroma that tickles the palate. It is fitting for dessert. During ancient times, the cake was popular in the court. 

The last activity during the Chinese flower festival is flower-growing and vegetable picking. If you have an intrinsic love for planting, this activity suits you well. The activity commemorates the birthday of the flower god. People believe that planting during this day calls for a better harvest. Consequently, Farmers and florists often choose this day to plant flowers and gather wild vegetables.

3. Explain the knowledge points

踏青(tà qīng): go for a walk in the country in spring when the grass has just turned green, spring out

赏红(shǎng hóng): enjoying and appreciating the beautiful flowers, red appreciation

For examples

Chūn jì tà qīng kě yǐ fàng sōng shēn xīn.

春     季踏 青   可 以  放     松    身    心。

Spring outings can relax your body and mind.

Chūn tiān lái le, wǒ men yì jiā rén yī qǐ chū mén tà qīng.

春      天   来了,我    们   一家 人  一起  出   门  踏   青。

Spring is coming, so our whole family goes for a walk in the country in spring when the grass has just turned green together.

Shǎng hóng shì huā zhāo jié de yī gè tè yǒu de xí sú.

赏         红    是   花   朝   节  的 一个 特 有   的习俗。

Red appreciation is a unique custom of the Birthday of all flowers celebrated on the 12th of February of the lunar calendar.

Shǎng hóng shì zhù fú huā shén de yì zhǒng fāng shì.

赏         红    是   祝 福  花    神   的 一   种      方   式。

Red appreciation is a way to bless the flower god.


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